I’m an artist, designer, curator & storyteller
with a natural creative flair, an innovative approach and a point of view worth sharing.

I’m fascinated by the cultural exchanges that occur as a result of movement and migration, expressed by the clothes we wear, the objects we collect, the art we make and the stories we tell.

I’ve spent over three decades exploring the relationship between cloth, culture and race –  visually through exhibition making and verbally through written and spoken word. Creativity, conversation and collaboration shape all that I do.

I believe that living is the ultimate act of creativity. Who we are, how we live and what we leave behind are all creative choices.

While it’s true that inequality means some are given less opportunity to focus their creative talents, I’ve also seen how those with the most constraints are often the ones who come up with the most creative solutions.

Creativity can transform lives, communities & cultures. But when it comes down to it, I embrace creativity for the sheer joy of it!

Which is why you’re just as likely to find me dancing the lindy-hop, as speaking behind a lectern or working in my studio.

The Official Bio

Dr Christine Checinska is a British artist, designer, curator & storyteller. Her work explores the relationship between cloth, culture and race.

Her PhD, Colonizin’ in Reverse! (Goldsmiths, London, 2009), examines the impact of creolised Caribbean culture on English male dress, and questions the relative absence of culturally diverse voices within Global North fashion and textiles studies. Through such work she invokes an interconnected and equitable art and design world where Black creativity, with all its nuances and contradictions, is nurtured and respected.

She has built on these themes in her role as Senior Curator Africa and Diaspora: Textiles and Fashion, and Lead Curator of Africa Fashion at the V&A Museum, London, and as Research Associate at the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre (VIAD), University of Johannesburg.

In 2016, she delivered the TEDxTalk Disobedient Dress: Fashion as Everyday Activism examining the fascinating cultural exchanges that occur beyond borders as a result of movement and migration expressed through the clothes we wear, the objects we collect and the art that we make.


2003 – 2009 PhD, Cultural Studies – Goldsmiths, University of London


2020 – Present Curator of African and African Diaspora Fashion – V&A Museum, London
2015 – Present

Associate Research Fellow – VIAD, University of Johannesburg

2018 – 2020

Visiting Tutor – Royal College of Art, London

2016 – 2020

Senior Designer – Sahara
2015 – 2016 Head of Design – Navabi GmBH
2014 – 2015 Design Consultant – Sahara
2013 – 2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellow – University of East London
2013 – 2015 Associate Lecturer – Goldsmiths, University of London
2006 – 2013 Senior Designer – Artigiano
2012 – 2013 Visiting Tutor – Goldsmiths, University of London
2011 – 2012 Associate Curator/Exhibitions Researcher – Iniva
2003 – 2009 PhD Student – Goldsmiths, University of London
1999 – 2005 Freelance Designer – Anne Tyrell Design
1996 – 1999 Senior Designer – Margaret Howell
1990 – 1995 Principal Designer – Laura Ashley
1988 – 1990 Designer – The Burton Group
1986 – 1988 Designer – River Island


2022 Africa Fashion – V&A Museum
2021 Folded Life: Talking Textile Politics – Johann Jacobs Museum
2021 Maker’s Eye: Stories of Craft, Crafts Council
2017 She Tries Her Tongue – E17 Art Trail
2016 The Arrivants – FADA Gallery, University of Johannesburg
2016 Adventus: Another World is Possible – St Mary’s Church
2012 Social Fabric – Iniva
2002 10 Boys – James Hockey Gallery


2022 The Politics of Fabric and Fashion in Africa 1960-Today – Gresham College
2016 Disobedient Dress: Fashion as Everyday Activism – TEDx London


TBC Refashioning African Diaspora Masculinities, Bloomsbury Publications
TBC Althea McNish: Fashioning Modernism, in Black Artists and Modernism Sonia Boyce and David Dibosa (eds.) Duke University Press
2022 Africa Fashion, V&A Publications
2021 Cut & Mix: Collage, Creolisation ad African Diaspora Aesthetics in ISSUE 09 Mobilities, Venka Purushothaman (ed.) LASALLE College of Arts
2019 Spinning a Yarn of One’s Own, in A Companion to Textile Cultures Jennifer Harris (ed.) Wiley Blackwell Publications
2018 Aesthetics of Blackness? Cloth, Culture and the African Diasporas – Guest editor of a special issue of Textile: Journal of Cloth and Culture, Taylor & Francis Publications
2017 At Home with Vanley Burke, in Image & Text, Leora Farber (ed.) online publication
2017 Stylin’ the Great Masculine Enunciation and the (Re)-fashioning of African Diasporic Identities, in Critical Arts, Volume 31, Number 3 June 2017, Leora Farber (ed.) Routledge Publications 
2017 Althea McNish and the British African Diaspora, in British Pop Art and Design, Anne Massey and Alex Seaga (eds.), Bloomsbury Publications 
2017 Lubaina Himid: Artist, Activist, Collaborator, in Cut Cloth: Contemporary Textiles and Feminisms Sarah-Joy Ford (ed.) 
2017 Migrations, Huddersfield Art Gallery, West Yorkshire, exhibition review in ROTOR Review 
2015 Sound and Vision: Christine Checinska wonders how Nick Cave’s Soundsuits take shape, in Selvedge Issue 65, May 2015 
2015 Social Fabric co-authored with Grant Watson (INIVA), in The Handbook of Textile Culture Janis Jefferies, Hazel Clark and Diana Wood Conroy (eds.) Bloomsbury Publications 
2015 Art, Cloth and the African Diasporas in Cultural Threads: Transnational Textiles Today, Jessica Hemmings (ed.) Bloomsbury Publications, 
2014 Sonia Boyce “Scat: Sound and Collaboration”, Iniva London, exhibition review in Visual Culture in Britain, Taylor and Francis 
2014 Second Skins: Cloth, Difference and the Art of Transformation, in Image and Text, Leora Farber and Anne-Marie Tully (eds.), University of Johannesburg, online publication 
2013 Crafting Difference, in Engage: Critical Crafts special issue Karen Raney (ed.), online publication 
2012 Reconfiguring Diasporic Identities, in Beyond Borders, John Hutnyk (ed.), Pavement Books
2006 Re-fashioning Identities, in I am Black, I am White, I am Yellow, Joan Anim-Addo (ed.), Mango Publishing
2006 Consuming Colonisation: excavatin’ escoveitched fish, in Kunapipi: Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Anne Collett (ed.), University of Wollongong

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